BANGALORE: Indian Railways will once again be the team to beat when the 26th edition of the Federation Cup kabaddi championship gets underway at the South East Asian (SEA) College campus at K.R. Puram, near here, from Thursday. Railways had won a double in the previous edition held at Tirupur, Tamil Nadu.
However, the Railway men's team is expected to face tough competition from BSNL and Haryana as well as from Tamil Nadu and the host.
The Railway women's team should have a smooth passage till the semifinals and given its all-round prowess has a good chance of retaining the title. Maharashtra and Punjab are the strong sides in the other group.
Former Karnataka chief minister Veerappa Moily will inaugurate the championship.
The groupings: Men: Group `A': Services, Punjab, Hyderabad and Rajasthan; Group `B': BSNL, Haryana, Indian Railways, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Women: Group `A': Indian Railways, Haryana, H.P. and Karnataka; Group `B': Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.